Some 2,876 farmers have availed of Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) loans since 2018, with farmer borrowings totalling some €98.5m, according to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

The finance of these loans was mainly provided by financial institutions, with State funds used to guarantee the borrowings.

The “vast majority” of these loans are being repaid on schedule, Minister McConalogue said.

Brexit loan scheme

The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme provides small- and medium-sized business with low-cost loans. Some €5.5m of Department of Agriculture funding was delivered to the scheme last year.

A total of 238 farmers successfully applied for the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme in 2021, with the combined borrowings representing €19.2m.

This equates to an average farmer loan size of just over €80,000 per farmer.

An average of just over €180,000 was loaned out to 29 food businesses in the scheme also.

COVID-19 loan scheme

The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme gives businesses access to credit to finance working capital in cases where the pandemic has affected cashflow.

Some 1,357 farm businesses have received a loan under the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme thus far.

With €64m in total allocations, the scheme delivered an average of €47,000 to its farmer applicants.

Future Growth Scheme

The EU-guaranteed Future Growth Loan Scheme was open to farmers to apply for long-term investment credit.

A total of 1,281 farmers were loaned an average of €118,000 under the Future Growth Loan Scheme.